March 2021

Dragonflies & Damselflies of North Merseyside by Steve White

Male Small Red-eyed Damselfy, Lee Park Golf Course by Steve Young

North Merseyside has a rich variety of wetland habitats suitable for dragonflies and damselflies, ranging from garden ponds to rivers, canals and streams and several large nature reserves. It also has a large and increasing number of dragonfly recorders and we currently hold almost 11,000 records – probably more than for any other group of insects. Twenty-four different species have so far been seen in the area. We are looking to gather as many records as possible during 2021!

Spiky bog-moss record by Dan Foy

 Zoomed in image of the spiky bog-moss (Sphagnum squarrosum)

All records of Sphagnum in the Merseyside area are rare and indeed very noteworthy, so to find this was a real pleasure, however, Sphagnum squarrosum is a real treat! The species was thought to be extinct in Merseyside; and according to the BBS database, the last known records (located around Formby area) were pre-1950! It just goes to show that there is always something good to be found if you look hard enough!

Migration routes of one of Britain’s largest ducks revealed for the first time, but much still remains a mystery

Shelduck by Philip Croft

New research, just published in the journal Ringing & Migration, has used state of the art tracking technology to investigate how one of Britain's largest ducks, the Shelduck, interacts with offshore wind turbines during their migration across the North Sea. Their findings reveal - for the first time - the length, speed and flight heights of this journey.

Survey of UK's coast highlights change in wintering waterbird populations

Turnstone by Sarah Kelman

The findings from a survey of the wintering waterbirds on the UK's non-estuarine coast, delivered by a network of volunteer observers, has revealed significant changes in the numbers of several waterbird species, including Lapwing, Curlew, Redshank, Turnstone, and Sanderling. 

Volunteers help to shape conservation priorities for UK birds

House Martin by Tom Streeter

The latest BirdTrends report, published by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) provides valuable information on the changing status of the UK's bird populations. Updated annually, this year’s report is especially significant in that it provides an early indication of one of the periodic revisions of the UK's “Red List” due to be published at the end of this year.